MPhil-PhD Research Degrees – Materials and Engineering

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  • Entry requirements
    Entry requirements Typically you need • an appropriate masters degree or an honours degree 2.1 or above, from a UK higher education institution or • a qualification the University considers as being equivalent. Other qualifications and experience are considered on their merits. You must also complete an interview in person or by phone with the prospective director of studies and provide two satisfactory references.
  • Academic title
    MPhil/PhD Research Degrees – Materials and Engineering
  • Course description
    Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
    During an MPhil, you critically investigate and evaluate an approved topic to demonstrate an understanding of research methods in your chosen field. You then present and defend your thesis by oral examination.

    Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    This is more intense than an MPhil. PhD candidates are expected to make an independent and original contribution to further knowledge.

    Split MPhil or PhD
    A split MPhil or PhD is a research degree programme for international students. You register for a Sheffield Hallam University PhD or MPhil, and spend some time studying in Sheffield but are substantially based in your home country.

    The balance of study between us and the overseas university is agreed between you and your supervisors, depending on the needs of your research programme.

    The benefits for international students studying on the split PhD scheme include
    • you can complete fieldwork in your home country, in an area directly linked to your professional or career development interests
    • access to local facilities and supervisory support in your home country combined with the expert supervisory guidance of our academic staff
    • short, intensive periods of face-to-face working with a dedicated supervisory team in Sheffield, while enjoying the educational, social and cultural benefits of studying in the UK

    Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI)
    MERI is a market-focussed research institute. Our high quality research provides commercial capability and expertise through • consultancy • contract research • generating intellectual property • training provision.

    It is one of the University’s largest community of researchers, with over 50 academics, researchers, technical and administrative staff.

    In the last UK Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), MERI’s precursor, the Materials Research Institute, was awarded a grade 5 rating. This ranks it among the UK’s top materials science departments, rating the research programme as being of international significance.

    We support a PhD research programme with a large number of mainly international students. It maintains many knowledge transfer partnerships that support close collaboration between academics, researchers and industrial partners.

    Research activity at MERI
    Our work covers basic, strategic and applied research, as well as research into teaching and learning. Much of it is through partnerships with businesses and professional collaborators.

    The range of our scientific and engineering research portfolio is broad. It extends from
    • the atomic, through the nanoscale and macromolecular to the macroscopic scale
    • defects in semiconductors to high-performance coatings
    • self-assembly systems to buildings, bridges and aircraft

    Research is supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the European Union, commercial clients, charitable bodies and government.

    MERI is made up of five centres of excellence
    • Modelling Research Centre
    • Electronic Devices and Materials Research Centre
    • Advanced Coatings and Composites Research Centre
    • Structural Materials and Integrity Research Centre
    Materials Analysis and Research Services, Centre for Industrial Collaboration (MARS) (CIC)

    Course content

    Research training
    When you begin your research, we allocate you a director of studies and a supervisor. Regular meetings between you and your supervisors are scheduled, with targets set for written and oral presentation of research progress.

    The research courses include

    University student induction
    We designed this to give you the information you need to successfully begin your research at the University.

    Research methods module
    This module develops generic research skills including
    • critical analysis and evaluation of technical written material
    • information retrieval and storage
    • research presentation, report writing and refereeing
    • quantitative methods and appropriate IT skills
    • project planning and management
    • research ethics

    MERI seminars
    You have to attend relevant seminars from the MERI research seminar series. Full-time, Sheffield-based students must attend a minimum of five seminars a year. You also need to attend the MERI student seminar day, which counts as one seminar.

    Presentation skills course
    This course gives you the preparation skills to effectively present your work as part of the MERI student seminar day.

    MERI student seminar day
    During the student seminar day, you present a seminar paper based on your work so far. This provides the thesis of your research degree.

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